Dec 29th 2008 1:30PM by Sportz Assassin (author feed)
Filed under: Broncos, Buccaneers, Cowboys, Jaguars, Jets, Packers, Patriots, Redskins, NFL PlayoffsWe all know the 12 teams that will be in the NFL playoffs, all of whom (mostly) deserve to be there.
The bigger story may be who won’t be in the playoffs. There were several teams that came into the season with big dreams while others had a nice start to the season. Yet they still didn’t make it.
In the 2000s, only one team lost a Super Bowl and made the playoffs the next season. We love pointing that out, but never imagined that could happen to these Patriots. New England just came off an undefeated regular season and lost the Super Bowl in the game’s final moments. But all it took was an injury to Tom Brady to put the season in doubt. Matt Cassel did a great job filling in, but injuries to the stable of running backs and a defense that, at times, looked its age forced New England slip up just enough to miss the playoffs.
They will be only the second team with 11 victories to not make the playoffs. To many, it is justice to see the Pats not in the postseason despite having a better record than four teams that will be.Continue Reading
Dec 30th 2008 10:20AM by Sportz Assassin (author feed)
Filed under: Redskins, NFC EastWith the Redskins’ season ending unceremoniously with a loss in San Francisco, thoughts of the 2009 season have already begun.
Cornerback Carlos Rogers believes that he shouldn’t be a part of those thoughts.”I’m not a backup to nobody,” Rogers said. “I’m a starter in this league. Everybody knows that. There’s a lot of teams that would give their right arm to have me on their team.”
“In Cincinnati, I played [just] nine plays,” Rogers said. “I’m used to playing 60 to 70 plays. All of a sudden, you’re a backup, you’re a nickel, you’re a third corner. That don’t sit well with me. I still haven’t had answers to the questions I want to know.”Rogers had a great start to the season as the team’s No. 1 corner, but saw his playing time reduced towards the end of the season. That coincided with the Redskins bringing in DeAngelo Hall — who is also looking at signing a long-term deal with the team — and the improved health of Shawn Springs.
Rogers plans on meeting with secondary coach Jerry Gray, who is a candidate for the Detroit Lions head coaching job. If Rogers doesn’t get the answers he wants from Gray, he could request a trade.
Dec 29th 2008 12:41AM by Sportz Assassin (author feed)
Filed under: Redskins, NFC EastHow would Redskins fans feel about an 8-8 season? It depends on when you ask.
If you asked in January when the Redskins were eliminated from the first round of the playoffs, Skins fans wouldn’t be too happy. If you asked in July when a rookie head coach was implementing a new offense, they’d be happy. If you asked in September after the Redskins horrible loss to the Giants in the regular season opener, they’d be ecstatic.
However, if you asked in late October when the Redskins were 6-2, they’d be ticked off.
That’s how this Redskins fan feels right about now. Sure, if you told me when the season started that the Redskins would finish the season 8-8, I would have taken it. Washington had some talent but was ushering in a new system and a new way of doing things. The NFC East looked stacked and the schedule looked daunting.
However, the Redskins jumped out to that 6-2 start and expectations change.Continue Reading
Dec 26th 2008 4:00PM by Will Brinson (author feed)
Filed under: Bears, Buccaneers, Cowboys, Eagles, Redskins, Vikings, NFL Fans, NFL Eliminated Teams, NFL Media Watch, NFL RumorsHad Philadelphia taken care of business last Sunday and beaten the Redskins, the Cowboys-Eagles game was set for primetime, Sunday night, must-see, WIN OR GO HOME football. Instead, the ‘Guls lost and the game suddenly became “Cowboys win = in” as far as the playoffs go.
Naturally, the game would be bumped back to 1:00 EST because it’s in Philadelphia. Only it wasn’t — now it kicks off at 4:15 EST … which is what happened, and also which makes little sense. Or, if you’re Tim Cowlishaw and/or freaking love conspiracy theories, a whole lot of sense.
Tampa Bay, Chicago and Minnesota all play noon games. If the Bucs win, or if the Bears and Vikings both win, the Eagles are eliminated from playoff contention.
[…] But the Eagles are going to prepare all week in hopes that a victory will get them into the playoffs. To learn after you have warmed up and just before kickoff that you have been eliminated can be devastating.
Fiction can be funny … but seriously, this is kind of a stretch, no? Sure, that could potentially be an advantage for Dallas, but the Eagles hate the Cowboys, and people are still going to be screaming for Tony Romo’s head. Additionally, as Cowlishaw notes, the 4:15 slot with an NFC rivalry game and the Cowboys’ playoff hopes on the line for huge ratings.
Besides, why would Roger Goodell bother “pulling a Stern” and landing the Cowboys in the playoffs when they’re only going to play one game anyway? Just seems like a little too much effort.
Dec 24th 2008 1:30AM by Will Brinson (author feed)
Filed under: Cowboys, Redskins, NFL Coaching, NFL Media Watch, NFL RumorsJim Zorn’s fall from grace (as well as 6-2) as been well maligned by many a DC area sportsblogger, but it appears that despite all the Bill Cowher rumors and Dan Synder craziness, the Zorn Star will be returning to coach the Redskins in 2009.
At least that’s what Vinny Cerrato told the press yesterday (after previously remaining silent on the subject).
“Yeah,” Cerrato said when asked if Zorn would lead the Redskins in the 2009 season. During an interview at his office at Redskins Park, Cerrato offered general observations about the state of the team as Washington (8-7) prepares to complete its season Sunday at San Francisco …
[…]He took things a step further yesterday, describing a question about Zorn’s standing as “crazy. Why wouldn’t he be back?”
It’s also important to remember that Zorn was Cerrato’s handpicked guy to take the reigns as Redskins coach, so he’s got a lot at stake in making sure that the ‘Skins coach gets a chance (like, say, his job).
And, much like the case of Wade Phillips, it’s kind of difficult at this stage of the game to just start pulling the plug on Zorn’s career as a coach in DC. He will, barring a moustacheod upset at the hands of the 49ers, lead the ‘Skins to a winning record in his first season, and firing him right now would only serve to embellish the idea that Snyder can’t keep his hands out the team’s general business.
Dec 24th 2008 11:30AM by Ryan Wilson (author feed)
Filed under: Redskins, NFC East, NFL Fans, NFL Coaching, NFL Rumors
The expectations were pretty low when the Redskins signed DeAngelo Hall to a one-year contract a few days after the Raiders decided to cut bait. Oakland forked over eight million bucks for eight weeks of substandard cornerback play, which had been Hall’s calling card during his four-year career.
Despite the overrated label, several teams were interested in Hall’s services, but he settled on the Redskins because the Virginia native wanted to be close to home. While the former Virginia Tech star and Falcons first-round pick hasn’t been spectacular in Washington, he’s been surprisingly steady.
So steady, in fact, that he replaced Carlos Rogers in the starting lineup a few weeks ago, and now, according to the ’s Jason La Canfora, the ‘Skins are trying to sign him to a new deal.Continue Reading
Dec 22nd 2008 3:15PM by Ryan Wilson (author feed)
Filed under: 49ers, Redskins, NFC East, NFC West, NFL Fans, NFL CoachingNow that the Redskins have officially been eliminated from the playoffs, Sunday’s matchup against the 49ers is more 2009 preseason game than 2008 regular-season finale. San Francisco interim head coach Mike Singletary has probably earned the full-time gig after going 4-4 since taking over for Mike Nolan back in Week 7.
Washington rookie coach Jim Zorn started 6-2, and nearly two months later, is sitting at 8-7. Things got so bad that rumors surfaced that his job might be in jeopardy, and after last week’s loss to the Bengals, he called himself the “worst coach in America.”
But for as different as Singletary and Zorn seem, they’re both young head coaches trying to win football games. And they both have interesting ways to motivate their teams. Singletary’s halftime trou-dropping episode is well documented, and the Sports Bog’s Dan Steinberg gives us a glimpse behind Zorn’s proverbial coaching curtain.Continue Reading
Dec 21st 2008 7:44PM by Sportz Assassin (author feed)
Filed under: Chargers, Eagles, Redskins, NFC East
There is no way I can stat up this game — it was a stinker. Neither offense could really get anything going, both defenses were all over the field and there were enough bad plays to fill Daniel Snyder’s mansion.
Still, it was a gripping game that went down to the final play of the game. It also came down to the final inches of the field.
Down 10-3, the Eagles made a last second drive to tie the game. With :12 left on the clock, Donovan McNabb completed a pass to Reggie Brown on the two, maybe three, inch line. The Redskins LaRon Landry and Fred Smoot stopped him there and with Philly out of timeouts, the clock ran out. Yes, that is the play pictured above.
This is a huge blow to the Eagles playoff chances. Coming into the game, Philly actually held its own destiny. With a win over the Redskins and next week against the Cowboys, the Eagles would have been in the playoffs. Now Philly needs to win and hope Tampa Bay loses to Oakland and Chicago loses tomorrow against Green Bay or in Houston next week. While possible, it’s hard to pin your hopes on Oakland winning in Tampa against Jon Gruden.
Dec 21st 2008 3:01AM by Sportz Assassin (author feed)
Filed under: Redskins, NFC EastIt was a bit of a surprise when Redskins linebacker London Fletcher did not get selected for the Pro Bowl. Despite consistently being one of the most reliable linebackers in the NFL, he has yet to make a Pro Bowl in his 10-year career.
Fletcher has decided to let loose on his frustrations.
“I don’t know if it was because I wasn’t a first-round draft pick, I don’t do some kind of dance when I make a 10-yard tackle, I don’t go out and get arrested. I believe in playing the game the way it’s supposed to be played. You line up each and every week, each and every play and you go out and get the job done. You look at my body of work and I’ve done that for 11 years. But because I’m not going out causing a lot of controversy, holding a private meeting with the coordinator saying this, this and this, causing a lot of strife on my team, I don’t garner a lot of attention. But when you turn the film on each and every week, each and every play, I’m gonna show up. That’s what I do.Of course, there was a Terrell Owens blast thrown in there (Owens failed to make the Pro Bowl as well).
Fletcher’s career has been amazing. He went undrafted out of John Carroll University in 1998. The Rams brought him in for a look-see and he turned into one of their defensive leaders. His leadership helped bring the Rams a Super Bowl in his second season with another appearance two years later. He has played in all of his teams’ games for the last eight seasons.
He is currently fifth in the league in tackles.
Dec 21st 2008 7:35AM by Sportz Assassin (author feed)
Filed under: Cowboys, Ravens, Redskins, AFC North, NFC East, NFL FansBack in April, I said the NFL blew it by not scheduling the Redskins as the final regular season opponent in Texas Stadium. After all, the Cowboys came in to close out the Redskins’ RFK Stadium and several of the best moments there involved the longtime rivals.
The schedule had the Baltimore Ravens as the opponent even though they had never played a game in that stadium until last night. There are rumors that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones pulled some strings to have the Ravens as the cupcake to their homecoming game.
It’s too bad the Cowboys couldn’t figure things out in the final game at Texas Stadium — especially since Jones apparently petitioned the league for the Cowboys to play the Ravens because it once looked like a winnable game. Jones sort of confirmed that theory to me after the game, but I couldn’t tell whether he was joking. It didn’t matter to the Ravens.If that is true, that is sad on so many levels. I mean, would the NFL actually schedule a perceived weak opponent for a team’s final game at their stadium just so they can go out on a positive note? And why would the proud owner of America’s Team need to line up a cupcake? Shouldn’t a team that was the favorite to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl be able to take on all comers?